CFP Oct 30, 2005

Passions in the arts of early modern Netherlands (Kingston)

Franziska Gottwald


The "motions of the mind"
Representing the passions in the arts of the early modern Netherlands

Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, 2006

Queen's University and Agnes Etherington Art Centre,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Deadline: March 13, 2006

Historians of southern European art have paid considerable attention to the
representation of emotions, psychological presence and interiority in
portraits and history paintings of the early modern period. Avenues of
investigation include the connection to literary traditions as well as the
aspiration of artists to demonstrate the expressive potential of their art
and their individual talent in this area. There is, however, no similarly
extensive discussion about the depiction of the passions in Dutch and
Flemish art. Yet the most prominent Dutch artist, Rembrandt, has always
been famous for depicting the "inner life" of the protagonists in his
history paintings, portraits and tronies. Already in his own time
Constantijn Huygens praised Rembrandt for his depiction of the expressions
of the human face. A variety of recent studies have emphasized his
evocation of the inner life and spiritual existence of his figures. At the
same time, other Dutch artists from Lastman to Lairesse were developing
practical and theoretical strategies for the representation of human
interiority. The 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth in 2006 provides an
occasion to examine the rendering of the passions in Rembrandt's ouvre and
its historical context: the activities of Dutch and Flemish artists of the
early modern period (ca. 1500-1750) who shared an interest in depicting the
"motions of the mind ".

We invite proposals for papers that explore aspects of this theme and that
focus on issues such as shifting or competing strategies of representation,
their function in paintings and other works of art, and the relationship
between theory and practice. We also encourage papers that explore
connections between the visual arts and other disciplines, such as
literature, theater and science, and between artistic convention and social
ideals for personal conduct and self-expression, as well as exchanges
between Dutch artists and the art of the Southern Netherlands and other
countries. We welcome proposals from junior and senior scholars in art
history and in related disciplines.

The symposium will take place in conjunction with the exhibition Wrought
Emotions: Renaissance and Baroque Paintings from the Permanent Collection
at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. There will be a study tour through the
gallery with the Bader Curator of European Art Dr. David de Witt on
Saturday, November 18, and a visit to the vaults on Sunday, November 19,

Funds may be available to cover travel costs, fully or partially, for the
speakers. A publication of selected papers is planned.

A one-page proposal in English or French for a 30-minute talk and a two
page C.V. should be sent via e-mail by March 13, 2006 to: Franziska

Conference Organizers:
Stephanie Dickey, design. Bader Chair in Northern
Baroque Art, Queen's University, Kingston
David de Witt, Bader Curator of European Art, Agnes
Etherington Art Centre, Kingston
Franziska Gottwald, PhD. Candidate, Free University

Franziska Gottwald
1-118 Gore Street
Kingston, ON
K7L 2L7

t.(001) 613 530 2340

CFP: Passions in the arts of early modern Netherlands (Kingston). In:, Oct 30, 2005 (accessed May 21, 2024), <>.